Lindenwood is awaiting approval for new BSN program for Fall 2024


Photo by Ben Kaiser

Lindenwood Gate

Ben Kaiser, News Editor

Earlier this month, President John Porter announced that Lindenwood is awaiting approval for a new nursing program for students.

The university’s Board of Trustees and internal committees have already approved the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. Approval from the state, specialized accrediting agencies, Board of Nursing, and the Higher Learning Council (HLC) are still pending currently.

“There are many steps to the approval timeline,” Director of Communications Julee Mitsler said in an e-mail. “Lindenwood anticipates the first cohort starting in Fall 2024 should the program receive all of the necessary approvals through the process.”

According to Associate Professor of Nursing/Paramedicine Darrell DeMartino, the BSN program is “a new endeavor for the university.” DeMartino is also the head of the Health Science department.

DeMartino explained in an e-mail that the new program for Lindenwood is designed for individuals entering the field of nursing. “Upon completion of the degree, graduates will be eligible to take the registered nursing (RN) licensing exam [NCLEX-RN].”

“This is the first time Lindenwood will have a pre-licensure nursing program,” DeMartino further explained. “Lindenwood previously had a post-licensure education option for those who were already licensed as RNs.”

SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital is located on 5th Street and 1st Capital Drive in Saint Charles, MO.

“We are thrilled to learn Lindenwood University will be offering a student nursing program beginning in 2024,” Interim Chief Nursing Officer Caren Lewis commented in an e-mail. Lewis works for the St. Joseph hospitals in Saint Charles and Wentzville areas.

The university is also excited for this program. There is a need for more nurses in the region as well as the state. With the BSN program, the nursing graduates will be prepared for the frantic workforce and to help relieve some of the nursing shortage.

SSM Health has kept notice of the industry-wide shortage of nurses, which has been an existing problem since before the COVID pandemic. SSM Health said that the shortage has been developing for years now.

“The labor shortage that persists today has been affected by the pandemic,” Lewis stated, “and the fact that Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age. However, we are strongly encouraged by a renewed interest in nursing careers among young individuals, as well as former nurses who are eyeing a return to the field.”

“Lindenwood strives to ensure students are provided with education consistent with the university mission of ‘Real Experience. Real Success.’” DeMartino clarified. “Nursing is an ideal program towards this goal.”

Lewis explained that Lindenwood starting their BSN program is “an incredible service to the community that will help ensure patients across our region will continue receiving the high-quality health care services they need and deserve.”

According to Mitsler, Lindenwood is exploring options for both on and off campus for learning spaces for the BSN program. DeMartino said that while it is too early to specify hospital sites, they will be working with a variety of greater St. Louis metro area hospitals for clinical experiences. The university also has support from area hospitals, which DeMartino said is “essential to our student learning experiences.”

“Those who choose nursing are sure to find it to be a rewarding career path,” Lewis added in her e-mail, “that provides daily opportunities to make a real difference in the lives of others.”

Additional information is available at